Ten Haitians or persons competing under the Haitian flag are competing in the Beijing Olympics which started on Friday August 8. However one would be hard pressed to find them on the official Olympics Committee site. The site is poorly structured and it does not seem to allow a search for individual athletes by just using the country for which they are competing as the keyword search term. Using bits of information culled from the official site and other sites, I have done the homework for you. At the end of the article, you will see the official information.
If there are indeed Haitian athletes in Beijing who decide to defect, I could not blame them. In the last 60 years, China has gone from a hardly developing country to a superpower which holds the fate of the United States in its hands. Modern cities, endowed with spectacular architectural and engineering achievements have sprung all over China while the country has spread its influence over the developed and developing world.
Meanwhile, Haiti remains saddled with a political economy and mindset that have barely moved past its forebearers’ brilliant exploits over French colonial slavery 200 years ago.
Fact: Since Haiti joined the Olympic Committee, it earned only 2 medals, a bronze and a silver, the last in 1928: 80 years ago! (Haitians, take note: the winner of the silver medal in the Men’s Long Jump is listed as Sylvia Cator, not Sylvio, on the official web site of the Beijing games).
Fact: Several years ago, the number of Haitian children said to be in restavek servitude was estimated at 300,000, or one out overy 10 children living in Haiti. This number has hardly declined.
Fact: Haitian child trafficking is no longer limited to Haiti. Haitian children are increasingly traded as slaves across borders to the Dominican Republic, and some end up in developed countries like the USA and Canada. ‘
I firmly believe that Haiti could be a radically different country in 40 years or so, if its leaders and its people were opened to new ideas, and strategies, and its allies resolved to step out of and away from standard bureaucratic practices.
Do you think a new Haiti is possible and are you prepared to do what it takes to see it through, i.e. get it to a point where it produces 300,000 potential Olympians a year, rather than 300,000 child slaves?
Pease note that of the 10 athletes listed above, there is little information associated with four of them. If you have any such information, please share it so that we may respectfully honor these athletes and press the Olympics Committee to update its database.